- Feb 19, 2022
- 73d 6h 8m
A Way Forward? Beyond the ManosphereThe aim of many incels is to ascend from inceldom; this means leaving the community and the blackpill behind, often by successfully entering into a romantic and sexual relationship with a woman. They grow out of the nihilistic perspective and are able to interact in a healthy way with women.
Although for some who would consider themselves to have ascended, to be an ex-incel, the legacy of the blackpill ideology remains, and simply being in a romantic relationship with a woman is insufficient in enabling them to completely rethink their world view. Labelling and demonising incels could inadvertently exacerbate the risks and overlooks the individuals behind the term, many of whom are vulnerable and in need of support away from the toxicity of the manosphere.
In the worst-case scenario, a self-fulfilling prophecy of being a threat and dangerous could come to fruition. My interviewees who claimed to be ex-incels talked about how the sense of belonging that they thought they were obtaining from being part of the incel community was actually a fallacy; however, society’s treatment of them, and the resulting reaction to them being incel, also intensified the problem:
Since I’ve left the blackpill, I’d say that sense of belonging/support is only an illusion, and that the blackpill (and TRP) is a cult. There are no benefits to joining an online hate group (I didn’t realise it until I left it). Think of it this way: what are the benefits to joining a cult? Your already poor social skills become worse, you become more hateful and bitter, and it’ll actually guarantee that you’ll die alone and never find a relationship … but society gets the criminal it deserves. Society should realise that although online cults like the blackpill are extremely harmful, incels themselves have a lot of mental, emotional and personal issues that shouldn’t be ignored in young men (which unfortunately are).
Yes incels do talk crazy shit like killing and raping women, killing Chads and other ridiculous bullshit, but what created that in the first place? Social isolation, bullying and self-esteem issues, too much ideal standards for men, a society that demonises them, women and girls not being held accountable for their actions, emasculation of men in society and therefore a lack of a health role model, men’s mental health issues not being addressed, combine this with the social effects of the internet, all this leads to the rise of incels. (Tom)
It is interesting that the justification narratives remain in Tom’s accounts, providing excuses for the abusive language and behaviours and placing the blame elsewhere rather than holding the community accountable. Men are undeniably experiencing societal harms, both psychologically and physically, but talking about violence as a natural reaction negates any individual agency and validates the violence. It is possible to address the real men’s issues leading young men to seek out support, and show sympathies for them, without condoning or excusing violent behaviours.
For Tom, proper socialisation and a healthy perspective of masculinity is key to protecting young men from inceldom:
Young boys are feeling increasingly lost, unaddressed and facing social isolation, leading to inceldom. Granted not all of them do identify as incels, but most are going through issues and are in a situation that could easily make them incels (which is further harming them to a near-irreversible damage).
They’re growing whether you like it or not. I don’t really know how society should be treating incels, the best thing would be to make sure young boys don’t fall into this downward spiral of hatred and radicalisation by better socialisation, more acceptable of healthy masculinity in an increasingly anti-male hostile feminist society. (Tom)
Despite stating that he is an ex-incel, though, Tom sadly still holds views that allude to the incel philosophy of society being in favour of women and feminism being averse to men.
John claims to have ascended – I knew how to fix my issues and managed to get few good women in my life fixing myself. Positive interactions with (good) women assisted with John stopping self-identifying as an incel. John’s self-awareness about how to resolve his problems are, however, not unique. It is well established in incel communities that forming relationships with women (who are not family members) is a way out of inceldom, with romantic relationships the most prized – and vilified depending on the thread – simultaneously, there is the rejection of women because the blackpill has made incels feel that they are incapable of attracting love and intimacy from women.
This vicious cycle of wanting and hating what is considered to be unattainable sustains the incel community and maintains the self-identification of individual incels. Uncomfortably, women are presented as both the problem and the solution to incel. Furthermore, John’s interpretation of what a good woman is unclear; this does allude, however, to the fantasy of women as perfect rather than being fallible human beings.
For those who still identify as incel, the barriers to intimacy remain a core factor of why they remain within the community:
I believe something has gone wrong in our society when we see a large number of people who desire companionship who can’t get it. The hate for the other from other incels are becoming a concern but I believe most analyses point out the misogyny and not seem to show concern for the incel and look at violence and hatred with a black and white perspective rather than proposing solutions that can help incels. They need friends that can help them out of their emotional rut but they are stuck because they struggle to make friends that could help them possibly find a partner. (Carl)
It is somewhat reassuring to know that Carl wants to move on from being an incel, and the reason behind this is because he would like to have a healthier attitude towards women:
I am looking to move away from the incel community and not identify as an incel as I don’t want to see myself resentful towards women even if I struggle to have a relationship with them. (Carl)
Ben also critiqued mainstream media; he felt that the trope of girls being attracted to the ‘bad boy’ is encouraged, and that virginity is viewed as a negative:
Productivity and education should be more valued by young boys rather than being popular and having success with girls. Films should stop portraying the popular guy as one who avoids education, does drugs, but still has success with girls. They should put on the pedestal the guy who works, studies hard and have success with girls. The attitude of people towards incel should be that of stop doing virgin-shaming. (Ben)
A theme I have considered throughout this book is the link between incels and mental health. The vague assertion generalising that all incels are mentally ill, however, fails to consider the complex relationship incels have with mental health and self-worth. Incels believe that they have failed at being men, or that society perceives them as failures, which has resulted in detrimental impacts upon incel’s self-esteem. The expectations of hegemonic masculinity stifling men’s emotional lives and men’s mental health often remains an under reported issue. In not meeting the hegemonic masculine standard, incels devalue themselves as inferior and subhuman, which is internalised and at the core of the incel identity.
Society does place importance on looks, with specific idealised masculine and feminine physiques, and white and able-bodied hierarchies. We are expected to always look our best, and filters can hide our flaws online but not offline. Despite the challenges to this culture by the body positivity and inclusivity movements, the pressure to be attractive has become an obsession with incels, who feel outside of such initiatives.
Not every self-identifying incel is suffering with mental health issues; however, the indication is that there are many who do or have previously done so. The link between neurodiversity and incels is also compelling, though greater research is needed to establish this further, and certainly, there are other vulnerabilities present in incels aside from autism spectrum disorder (ASD). There are a concerning high volume of threads and posts asking members if they are or have been suicidal, along with suicidal ideation expressed throughout the community. Depression and loneliness are common themes discussed and are noted as expected outcomes of adopting the blackpill, in which accepting the life of an incel means embracing misery and hopelessness.
Seeking the help of mental health professionals like psychologists and psychiatrists is discouraged as they are distrusted, particularly as these roles are associated with women. Those who have interacted with mental health professionals report that their encounters have been unhelpful and unproductive, with only a few stating anything positive had been derived from engaging such assistance. There are legitimate mental health problems, vulnerabilities and suffering described by incels; however, there are men who visit incel forums seeking advice and support from others who can empathise due to also struggling with relationships and the construct of masculinity, only to assimilate into an echo chamber of bitterness, resentment and aggression.
Incels, rather than being a contemporary aberration of misogynistic extremism, are founded upon the rhetoric of twentieth-century men’s movements. Incel communities are spaces of paradox, turmoil and contradictions, rather than a homogeneous entity. The misogyny and dehumanisation of women presented by incels are indicative of wider patriarchal Western society, amplified through the echo chamber effect. The war against women is not virtual, it has been in effect both blatantly and surreptitiously offline for generations, controlling women’s lives, but is now simultaneously occurring online as well.
This war increases in prevalence whenever women make equality gains and/or prolifically challenge men’s violence against them. Incels do provide a valid critique of the narrow perspective of the ideal men are expected to meet in order to be a ‘man’ and its accompanying detrimental effects; however, the framing of it as a problem caused by women and feminism overlooks the real enemy, the systems of oppression that enforce rigid gender expectations, that feminism is actually seeking to dismantle.
taking away from the soy feminazi book of lisa sugiura entilted: The Incel Rebellion: The Rise of the Manosphere and the Virtual War Against Women 
i've took it upon myself to break this bullshit down in a form of multiple threads; so we get an idea of how them feminazis femoinds authors perceive us,
whats the inceldom perception from their end, and hopefully exposing their hidden agendas?! (if possible)